The brass check, a study of American journalism (1919) PDF by Upton Sinclair

The brass check, a study of American journalism (1919) PDF by  Upton Sinclair

The brass check, a study of American journalism


Excerpt from  the author's introduction:

The social body to which we belong is at this moment passing through one of the greatest crises of its history, a colossal process which may best be likened to a birth. We have each 6f us a share in this process, we are to a greater or less extent responsible for its course. To make our judgments, we must have reports from other parts of the social body; we must know what our fellow-men_, in all classes of society, in all parts of the world, are suffering, planning, doing. There arise emergencies that require swift decisions, under penalty of frightful waste and suffering. 

What if the nerves upon which we depend for knowledge of this social body should give us false reports of its condition? The first half of this book tells a personal story: the story of one man's experiences with American Journalism. 

This personal feature is not pleasant, but it is unavoidable. If I were taking the witness-chair in a court of justice, the jury would not ask for my general sentiments and philosophic opinions; they would not ask what other people had told me, or what was the common report; the thing they would wish to know — the only thing they would be allowed to know — is what I had personally seen and experienced. So now, taking the witness stand in the case of the American public versus Journalism, I tell what I have personally seen and experienced. ' I take the oath of a witness: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

 After this pledge, earnestly given and earnestly meant, the reader must either believe me, or he must exclude me from the company of civilized men. My motive in writing this book is not to defend myself. We live in a time of such concentrated agony and peril that a man who would waste ink and paper on a defense of his own personality would be contemptible. What I tell you is: "Look! 


Here is American Journalism! Here is what it did to one man, systematically, persistently, deliberately, for a period of twenty years. 

Here are names, places, dates — such a mass of material as you cannot doubt, you cannot evade. Here is the whole thing, inside and out. Here are your sacred names, the very highest of your gods. When you have read this story, you will know our Journalism; you will know the body and soul of it, you will know it in such a way that you will not have to be told what it is doing to the movement for industrial freedom and self-government all over the world."

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